Our #TuesdayNewsday is your essential update for the week’s strategy gaming headlines
Well, there seems to be some issues over at Devil Pig Games (the Heroes of… series); this was posted to their FB page
Good day to you all.
First of all, please forgive us for this long silence. We had to take the time to think about the best way to react to the situation and to check with our legal advisers what we could or couldn’t say.
It is with a heavy heart and not without some anger that we write these lines. As you may have noticed, the Pledge Manager as well as the Devil Pig Games website and shop have been closed. You have to know that we learned of this at the same time as you did, as no one from “Management” saw fit to warn us.
But what management are we talking about?
Let’s take a step back…
Following problems encountered by DPG a few years ago, the company had to close its doors. Its business was later taken over by another company called The Board Game Strategist, run and owned by Arnaud Charpentier, who did everything in their power to honor what DPG had pledged to deliver.
The Board Game Strategist and Arnaud Charpentier are at the helm of several companies, including Pig From Hell Games (formerly DPG), Surfin’ Meeple, and above all Matagot. De facto, since this takeover, management has been in his hands, and he is in charge rather than Yann and Clem. The “Heroes of…” trademarks no longer belong to us, all administrative and financial decisions are taken by The Board Game Strategist (including fulfillment contractors), only editorial choices remain the prerogative of the two authors of Heroes of Normandie.
During the Kickstarter campaign for Heroes of the Pacific (March-April 2023), Arnaud Charpentier shared with us his concerns about Pig From Hell’s financial health.
Arnaud asked Clem to suggest that Basile resign. Clem refused to do the dirty work, of course, but agreed to terminate his own contract at the end of November 2023 to ease the financial burden and allow the business to continue.
Basile nevertheless left the company during the summer.
Meanwhile, a serious disagreement between Yann and Arnaud led to Yann’s dismissal from Pig From Hell. He was ready to finalize the project, but discussions with Arnaud soon proved impossible, and he finally decided to take the situation into his own hands, suing the company and ending his collaboration after having delivered everything he had to for Heroes of the Pacific.
In our eyes, this situation wasn’t perfect, but it allowed us to keep our commitments to our community. With these three salaries saved, it seemed to us that the company’s financial situation would allow the delivery of Heroes of the Pacific and a light follow-up of the ranges. That’s why Jules and Clem didn’t slam the door and kept on working, encouraged by Arnaud, to deliver the files on time, which they managed to do at the end of the summer, just one month behind schedule.
Once this task had been completed, Arnaud insisted that we start preparing a Kickstarter campaign for Heroes of Stalingrad V.2. It was also decided that we should simultaneously carry out graphics and editing work for a 3rd party game, published by Matagot. This situation lasted throughout September.
Arnaud then asked us to stop working on Heroes of Stalingrad, and on September 29, 2023, he announced that Pig From Hell’s credit card had been hacked. He told us no more, but a few days later, the Pledge Manager was shut down without warning. When we asked, by mail, the person in charge of the Pledge Manager to explain the situation, he replied that he has been instructed not to communicate on the subject.
At the end of September, we did not receive our salaries. Arnaud explained that he would be able to tell us more on October 26…
On October 3, we were astonished to find that orders placed on our website were not being delivered. We asked, via Discord, what was going on, and were told by an employee of the company responsible for deliveries (also owned by The Board Game Strategist) that they too had been instructed to stop handling orders placed with Pig From Hell. We noted, therefore, that the website was still accepting orders even though it had been decided to stop deliveries. We don’t know whether they will be honored.
A few days later, on October 11, the website finally closed its doors, again without warning, depriving the community of its forum. We asked management for at least a press release, and this message was published without our agreement:
« Devil Pig Games is facing serious difficulties due to recent unforeseen and brutal events beyond our control. We are making every effort to find a long-term solution, but until this has been fixed we are stopping all operations. As soon as these troubles cease we will resume our activity and inform you. »
We asked Arnaud for more information, but the only reply we got was: “I can’t tell you anything before October 26th. By the way, can you deliver the files for that 3rd party game?” “We refused to comply…that was quite an ask when they left us unpaid and scrambling in the dark.”
Well, that’s that.
So we don’t know what the situation is, and we’re truly dismayed.
Yann has had to leave the team, and Clem should do so soon. It has been made clear to us that Heroes of the Pacific will only be delivered if Pig From Hell is bought out by a third party, and that royalties will not be paid. Employees haven’t been paid for over a month, we lost control of the “Heroes of…” trademarks, the website and newsletter passwords have been changed, no one is telling us anything, and we feel like we’re being treated like dirt…
We’ll wait until October 26 to tell you more, but we’re not confident about the future. We’ve worked hard to deliver all our previous projects, despite the difficulties, and we’ve even put ourselves in financial jeopardy at times. But we have always chosen to make every effort not to abandon the community that has supported us for ten years.
At this stage, we are unfortunately no longer in control of events and cannot make any decisions.
We’re blind, distraught, angry, sad… and waiting to see what the future holds.
The Devil Pigs (Yann and Clem and Jules)
This one’s from Matt Forbeck over on FB
Gamers! There are two industry legends who are battling health issues that could use your help. Both were involved with TSR (the original publisher of D&D) back in the early days and helped form the game and the hobby we enjoy today. I’ll put the links to the GoFundMe drives in the comments.
Jennell Jaquays nearly died due to the sudden onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome. While she survived and is on the road back to health, it’s going to be a long one. She’s still going to be in the hospital for weeks, and it’ll be 6 to 12 months of recovery. (GoFundMe link)
Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. actually did die but was fortunately raised (not resurrected) a few minutes later. He’s been in and out of the hospital for the past couple months, fighting heart disease, but it seems like he may finally be on the upswing. (GoFundMe link)
If you can, chip in a bit to help. Health costs can be wildly expensive, and hotel expenses for caregivers add up fast too.
Games released in the past week that you’ll want to check out
- WDS released Panzer Campaigns – Orel ’43
- Osprey Games released Stargrave: Bold Endeavour
- Tacmento is a new game from NAC on Spanish Tercios, for all of $10
- Empire of the Stars is both (1) new, and (2) on sale at MM right now
- Per GMT’s latest newsletter, the following are charging/shipping imminently
- Free League sent the PDF version of the redone Twilight 2000: The Black Madonna to all their Kickstarter backers, and its on DTRPG
- Minden Games homepage hadn’t changed in almost 2 years, so we stopped checking it; in the year since, they’ve now released 3 new products (all of them can be ordered on this page)
- Weltkrieg, 1914
- QAR: Quick Armor Rules, North Africa
- Der Tag, 1916 2nd Ed.
- The latest Team Yankee release brings the Canadians into the NATO Forces release cycle
Crowdfunding, p500, pledge programs, whatevs yo! ~ if you can order it now & get it later, here it is
- The Battle of Khalkhin Gol from Princeps Games is live on Kickstarter
- Hard to tell whether Proxy War: An Indie Strategy Board Game of Modern Wars is really taking the asymmetric material seriously, or if there’s a lot of gimmickry built into this one
- Dragons Down looks/plays like a video game, on your tabletop (from Scott DeMers) and h/t to Ed Bryan, who made us aware of it and is assisting on the campaign
- Warlord has some new Pike & Shotte Epic Battles starter sets
- One Small Step is now dabbling in RPGs, but maybe promote it a bit, guys? Here’s Zone 17, a “mecha sci-fi” game
- You can now pre-order the Homeworld: Fleet Command products from Modiphius
- The Sliver Bayonet: Canada, an adventure wargame in Canada during the War of 1812, is on pre-order at Osprey
- Steve Jackson Games have a new Car Wars Companion for Sixth Edition on Kickstarter with a bunch of scenarios, rules variants, and more
- GMT’s latest p500 additions
Here to help you save a few bucks, or, y’know… spend more than you were planning if it wasn’t for a good deal
- Bunch of S&M stuff – including Rules the Waves and Flashpoint Campaigns – on sale on Steam until the end of the month
- Nightingale Games (War Room) has a big warehouse clear-out sale going on and they’re not expecting restocks until the end of 2024 at the earliest
- GOG has the Space Empires complete pack for under $5
- Border States and Saladin (combo pack) on sale from Shakos Games
- On sale for the next several weeks – the Winter Mega Event at Alternative Armies includes 20% of pretty much everything, plus bigger discounts on some other stuff, plus at least one free mini in every order
- S&T’s game-edition magazine sale this week is World at War #87 with Netherlands East Indies: 1941 to 1942
There’s always something going on with The Dragoons, so we’ve always got plenty to tell you about!
- Saturday Night Fights ~ The Battle of Leipzig (II) for “Blucher”
- Mentioned in Dispatches Season 11 Ep 5 ~ Armchair Dragoons’ Fall Assembly Preview
- This week was #UnboxingDay!
- Going back through our Armchair Dragoons’ archives ~ Armchair Dragoons Reviews One Small Step by Academy Games
- Gameplay this week
- This week in our forums
- Upcoming Dragoons Events (and don’t forget to check the event calendar for everything else)
- 27-29 October Carnage Royale (Dover VT)
- 3-5 November SDHISTCON (San Diego CA)
- 3-5 November Rock-Con (Rockford IL)
- 3-5 November BottosCon (Vancover BC)
- 3-5 November HMGS Fall In (Lancaster PA)
- 9-13 November Compass Expo (Meriden CT)
- 10-12 November MythicCon (Charlotte NC)
- 15-19 November BGG.Con (Dallas TX)
Our fellow content creators from the wargaming world
- Rocky joined us for The Fall Assembly
- Moe has a new episode of Whiskey Charlie tonight
- My Own Worst Enemy was at the Fall Assembly
- Ardwulf’s counter clipping stream talked about “big” vs “little” wargames
Various news & notes from the business end of the gaming world
- GMT announced they will be having a Fall sale this year. So that you can start your wallet on crossfit now, the dates you’re aiming for are Monday, 13 November, 5am PST to Sunday, 19 November, 11:59p PST
- Avalanche Press has an article about the Slovakian “puppet brigade” of WW2
- Sounds like the guys over at Compass Games now have the rights to all of the games that were originally published in Command Magazine, so those might start getting added to their already-voluminous pre-order list
There’s occasionally a good discussion on Twitter, like this one
I only recently learned the difference between linear thinking & systems thinking & I am w/o a doubt, a systems thinker & wonder whether my ability/inability to grok certain rulebooks has anything to do with that & also why COIN rule books work so well for me.
— Stephanie Smith (@biffybeans) October 22, 2023
Hey, we’d LOVE to have some more action in the dedicated area of our forums for the wargame practitioners.
- Updating OOBs on-the-fly during the Ukraine war is getting increasingly difficult
- The next GUWS webinar is on 10/30 and will cover Accelerating Organizational Change Through Games; jumping ahead to 12/12, you get The Tyranny of Binaries: how wargame rules build narratives
- PaxSims has something different – a matrix game about first alien contact
Mariupol up today with the Cyber Combat Game.
I had many question marks on inustry and civilian population (re:Azovstal). Need to re-think this. pic.twitter.com/i1YllfWw7n
— Natalia Wojtowicz (@Wojtowicz_N) October 24, 2023
Something neat from outside the wargaming world we thought was worth sharing
That’s all for this week!
Be sure to drop by our forums and join the fun, and next Tuesday we’ll drop some more news on you.
Thank you for visiting The Armchair Dragoons and mounting up with the Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
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(We have an Instagram page and it’s really just a placeholder & redirect to our articles.)
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Feel free to talk back to us either in our discussion forum, or in the comments below.
In a world of wargaming so grand,
Tuesdays, news spreads ‘cross the land,
Updates each week,
For battles we seek,
On the tabletops, forces will stand!
- kinda like GMT ran off with the Decisive Action title from another computer game
- 3rd Thursday of the month